Road to new ranger station named after fallen BP agent
The entrance road to the new Buttercup Ranger Station will be dedicated to the memory of Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar, who lost his life in the line of duty at the site this past January.
“Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country. The Border Patrol will never forget Luis or his family and his memory will live on forever," said Yuma Station Patrol Agent in Charge Tim York.
"He was a cherished husband, father, friend and patriot. The road dedication will serve as a reminder to all citizens of this country that Agent Aguilar gave his life in the defense of our freedoms.”
The dedication will be part of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's grand opening ceremony for the new ranger station in the Imperial Sand Dunes.
The public is invited to the grand opening Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Refreshments and tours of the new station will follow.
The station is located at the Gray's Well exit off Interstate 8, between Yuma and El Centro, in the Buttercup Off Highway Vehicle Park.
The Sun made several attempts to contact BLM for comment regarding this article but no calls were returned.
According to Charla Teeters, project manager for United Desert Gateway, Ryan Gorman of Mesa, who landscaped the new station, will also be recognized during the event.
"It was part of his Eagle Scout project," Teeters said. "We are giving him a certificate thanking him for his efforts."
The station's flagpole, donated by family and friends, will be dedicated to San Diego area resident Russell Bolten, who was a duner of more than 35 years.
Aguilar, 32, was placing spike strips in the path of two vehicles believed to have illegally entered into the United States through the Imperial Sand Dunes, which is about 20 miles west of Yuma, from Mexico when one of the vehicles struck and killed him.
Mexican federal and state police arrested Jesus Navarro Montes in the northern state of Sonora for the killing a few days later. Authorities believe Navarro left Mexicali in Baja California and was headed for the U.S. in a Hummer carrying drugs.
After the killing, Navarro, 22, drove to Mexicali and gave the Hummer to accomplices for safekeeping. It was later found burned.
On June 18, an unidentified judge in Mexico freed him because there wasn't enough evidence to hold him on charges of human smuggling, according to reports from La Cronica, a Mexicali newspaper.
The newspaper also reported that Navarro Montes wasn't facing any charges in Mexico for Aguilar's death. The suspect has still not been recaptured.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854.